Gotta go fast to see ‘Sonic 2’

Neha Seenarine, Arts & Life Editor

Illustration by (Alex Kendall)

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” can be easily marketed as an animated children’s film. However, as a 20-year-old viewer, I can attest that “Sonic 2” was an amazing experience even if I had a better credit score than everyone else in the theater.

“Sonic 2” released on April 8, and within one week it surpassed $100 million at the box office. The film also had the best opening weekend for a video game film adaptation ever, with a $71 million debut.

Am I a die-hard Sonic fan? No, and I don’t have to be. When I was younger, I played “Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games” on the Nintendo Wii and watched “Sonic X” on weekend mornings with my brother, but that doesn’t mean I can win Sonic trivia.

The “Sonic 2” plot is not hard to follow if you didn’t play the original Sega video games growing up. The film adaptation introduces new characters from the franchise like Tails and Knuckles without the audience having to take a Sonic crash course. Their origin stories flowed seamlessly through the movie. I wished “Suicide Squad” took notes from “Sonic 2” on how to introduce characters without taking up too much screen time.

Despite the epic and beloved Sonic characters making it to the big screen, there is only one true star of the film, Jim Carrey as Dr. Eggman.

Carrey proves once again he can do anything. I watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” every holiday season and one of my favorite movies is “Dumb & Dumber.” Those two films are decades apart from “Sonic 2,” and Carrey still knows how to put on a show. His whimsical flair brings Dr. Eggman to life on his conquest to capture Sonic for more greed and power.

With the target audience being children, it’s clear that their parents have to accompany them. “Sonic 2” is a film for everyone. The adult characters in Sonic’s life are hilarious.

One of the film’s settings is a wedding in Hawaii. The bride, Rachel, played by Natasha Rothwell, finds out her relationship is a hoax when her partner, Randall, played by Shemar Moore, is revealed to be a cop trying to capture Sonic for government testing. The scenes of Rachel’s outburst after she finds out she was played are enjoyable for adults to watch.

“Sonic 2” is way cooler than the first one. The first movie introduces Sonic and his adjustment to being on Earth. He is taken in by Tom Wachowski, played by James Marsden, and he’s akin to Sonic’s dad, much like Dave from “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” To be honest, I haven’t seen Marsden since 2007’s “Enchanted,” and he’s still as charming as ever. “Sonic the Hedgehog” did not give me as much adrenaline as “Sonic 2” considering I watched it in my living room during the pandemic’s peak.

The sequel curse is broken with “Sonic 2.” This film joins the list of only two that are better than the originals: “Shrek 2” and “Spider-Man 2.” “Sonic 2” knows how to establish its plot and characters without taking too much time reflecting on the original film. The character development grows throughout the movie’s  two-hour runtime without it feeling forced.

“Sonic 2” left audiences with a tease of a third installment in the franchise. Marvel Studios better watch its back because Sonic is going to run his name all over the movie industry.